Special Coverage

Paris
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PARIS – Promising its largest-ever new-product wave in Europe, Toyota Motor Corp. previews three models for the European market here and says it is planning no fewer than 13 launches in total: six brand-new or next-generation models, plus seven major upgrades.

Andrea Formica, senior vice president-Toyota Motor Europe, also announces “Toyota Optimal Drive” a new branding initiative for the auto maker’s efficiency-enhancing technology for conventional powertrains similar to its branding of Hybrid Synergy Drive.

The new models announced here are the A-segment iQ minicar, the Scion xD-based Urban Cruiser cross/utility vehicle and the third generation of its Avensis European flagship.

By 2015, 70% of the European population will be living in urban areas. The iQ is targeted at this growing demographic, Formica says.

Powered by either a 1.0L gasoline or 1.4L diesel engine, the small car is “ultra safe” Formica says, featuring nine airbags, including the world’s first rear-window curtain shield airbag. It also is based on a newly developed multi-load-path body structure.

Because it also features active safety devices such as antilock brakes, electronic stability control and traction control, Toyota is aiming for a 5-star safety rating, Formica says.

The car goes on sale in January with an annual volume target of 80,000 units.

The Urban Cruiser will launch with a 1.4L diesel powering an all-wheel-drive version, and a 1.3L gasoline engine equipped with a stop/start system will power a 2-wheel-drive version.

It will debut in May with an annual sales target of 30,000 units.

The Avensis is the first product to officially benefit from Toyota Optimal Drive technology, Formica says, explaining that carbon-dioxide emissions have been reduced up to 26% on the gasoline-powered car. It is available with a diesel engine as well.

Toyota says the new Avensis features the auto maker’s first-ever 6-speed automatic gearbox on a diesel passenger car.

The Avensis goes on sale in January in Europe, including Russia, with an annual sales target of about 115,000 units, Formica says.

dwinter@wardsauto.com